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Walking By Faith: Life After My Fitness Retirement

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When I taught my last class on July 14th I expected to feel either sad or glad. I felt neither. I expected the last 11 years to flash before my eyes like memories often do in movies. They didn’t. I expected to enter the “non-pro-fit-girl” world and miss getting a paycheck along with majority of my workouts. I don’t.

Don’t get me wrong, I will always cherish the times I had behind a mic, covered in sweat with the latest athleisure on and squatting like it’s hot to 2 Chainz. But my spirit knew that the space between my comfort zone and my destiny was dependent on saying goodbye to my GFI (group fitness instructor) title. So I did. Without fully knowing what would come next. Without fully caring either. But fully knowing that what’s next is truly about to be the best.

Here’s how I’ve been walking by faith in my current retired GFI life.

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1) When The Chance Of Regret Is Greater Than The Risk, GO!

The weighing of “chances” is what initially prompted me to venture down this current path of the unknown. See, when I started a career in fitness back in 2006, it was a “back-up plan.” I had no idea that the industry would boom into what it is today, so I felt myself being down for the ride the first several years. However these last few years have felt more like fear jumped in the driver’s seat where passion once was. I didn’t want to walk away from years of hard work when this eventual exit entered my heart. But it was getting too hard to not work in the industry I knew I was built for.

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Yes, I got my GFI while getting a MFA in Acting. Yes, creating art for a living was always plan A. Yes, I never imagined the current success, joy and healing that plan B would bring into my life. Yes, they both have value and I enjoy them both. And yes, after years of balancing a life of training bodies and training my talent I’ve decided to dedicate more time to plan A.

The chance of regret is greater than the risk. So yes, here I am going for it.

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2) Spoiler Alert: You Only Get 24 Hours A Day

Then there was the issue of the only unrecoverable thing in this life – time. I tried to stretch my days by waking up at dawn to train clients and then pulling close to an all-nighter to create art. Work that would feed my body by day chased by work that would feed my soul by night. I believe the street name for this form of “trying” is called grindin’. No dis, please believe I have no plans of losing my grind. In fact, a plan is exactly what I have. A plan to – I believe the street term for this is – reclaim my time. We only get 24 hours a day RADicals. We have to sleep a part of that time. Eat a part of that time. Love and fellowship with our fellow humans a part of that time. And do our part to leave the world better than it was when we got here, a part of that time too. That last part I’m learning to do in conjunction with the others. It’s all connected, so I’ve let being busy go and have welcomed a new level of productivity – an approach to time that is fueled solely on engaging my energy with people and things that matter. To me. What matters to me may not matter to you, but when each of us treat our time as the unique yet equal metric that we all have, RAD things start to happen. Funny thing even, you actually somehow have more time.

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3) You Aren’t Just One Thing. Deal With It And Others Will Deal With It Too.

“So wait, you aren’t going to teach anymore?” This has been the million dollar question since July 14th y’all. At first I didn’t know the answer. However the more time that has passed, and the more space I’ve been able to have between what my norm in NYC was and what I want my life in LA to be, the more I’m learning. Not only about what’s next, but most importantly, who I will be in that next. This shift in thinking has been miraculous RADicals. For many years I would enter a new season with prayers and dreams of what I wanted to be there, who I wanted to be there, what I wanted it to look like, etc. And yes, I still have those hopes. But it makes for a stronger, more sustainable journey when you flip those desires around and say, “who do ‘I’ want to be” when all of the above happen. I believe the street name for this is “self awareness.” Well call it what you will, this is the journey that I’m on. Wide open to the possibility of whatever is good for me. Wide open to God’s plan. And wide open to say, yes, I am in “fitness” but I can’t help but wonder what else is out there that I can be in. Many things I believe. And I believe this for you too RADicals.

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So if you’ve been doing something for a long time and it doesn’t light you up anymore, or worse, it doesn’t light up the world we live in – it’s purpose has expired. Therefore don’t be afraid to move on to a new space of purpose. Like I told an ex many years ago, “I think we’re doing this because it’s been a long run. Not for the long run.” He agreed and we went our separate ways. No hard feelings. Just hard truth. That is the same convo me and my GFI title had this summer.

Knowing when to stay and knowing when to walk away, that is our power.

May you do what’s best for you this season RADicals. I’ll see you on the flip side…I’m off to flip the script. 😉

Style cred: Hat and SkortCALIA by Carrie Underwood, TopOnzie and ShoesJSlides.

Don’t worry, I will still curate fitness content. Just in a new RADical way.

What kind of content do you want to see from me in this next chapter? Let me know below.

2 Responses to “Walking By Faith: Life After My Fitness Retirement”

  1. I’m inspired after reading this and starting my chapter of retirement 😜! Will be looking for more of these articles. How about some fitness videos that can build me on my own time.

    • Robbie Ann Darby says:

      Thanks Carolyn! I will keep these things in mind as I pray over what is next. I really appreciate your support and congrats on your recent retirement!

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